The common cold and flu arrive hand in hand with cold weather. It is well known that antibiotics do nothing to cure rotavirus infections, and that the overuse of antibiotics triggers a resistance to their effectiveness on occasions when we desperately need them to work.
Chinese medicine has successfully treated the cold and flu for thousands of years with Chinese herbs and acupuncture treatment. Our treatment either stops the cold and flu within one to two days or significantly reduces symptoms and duration. Chinese medicine also helps resolve sinus congestion, infections and coughs.
In this article, l discuss how Chinese medicine diagnoses and treats colds, flus and their related symptoms, as well as home remedies, self-care techniques, healing recipes and more. Remember the best cure is prevention so eat well, get enough sleep and get acupuncture and herbs for prevention.
Chinese Diagnosis & Treatment of Colds & Flus
In Chinese medicine (CM) we recognize several categories of the cold and flu. The symptoms of each category are different ; therefore, CM uses different treatments for each.
Wind cold invasions are often characterized by fever but no sweating, possible fever and chills, body aches, an aversion to cold, nasal congestion with clear, runny mucus, headache and possibly fatigue and/or cough.
Wind damp invasion symptoms are fever, chills, headache and a feeling of head heaviness, body aches, fullness and heaviness of the chest, stomach and or lower abdominal pain or fullness, nausea and or vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes patients with a wind damp invasion only have fever & chills without sweating, a stiff neck and upper back ache.
Wind heat invasions are often characterized by fever, slight chills if any, sore throat, stuck, thick nasal congestion that tends to be yellow or green color and possible sinus infection, cough, irritability and fatigue. The nature of the cough may vary. For example there may be a very productive cough with stringy white sputum, or productive or hard to expectorate thick yellow or green sputum. Occasionally, the cough is very dry, hacking and may produce blood streaked sputum. Coughs can be accompanied with wheezing. Each cough type is treated very differently. The treatment strategy will dry a wet productive cough or moisten a dry hacking cough to achieve relief.
Your practitioner will combine several treatment strategies such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and herbal cough syrup, cupping, Chinese massage gua-sha (a gentle scraping techniques applied to the skin to release wind from the muscle layer. It is usually done with the smooth edge of a spoon and feels wonderful). Additionally, your acupuncturist will teach you home remedies such as steam inhalation for nasal & chest congestion and coughs as well as medicinal food recipes.